Holden, Chevy to Build BRZ Competitor?
An Australian magazine reports GM may build a compact RWD coupe to challenge the Subaru BRZ.
The rendering is an Aussified version of the Chevrolet Code 130R concept first shown last January at the North American International Auto Show. Wheels is calling it the modern-day Holden Torana, the sporty Australian compact built from 1967 to 1980 that led racing driver Peter Brock to numerous victories in the '70s.
The original Torana was attractive, quick, and affordable -- a winning formula that Hyundai revamped on the 2009 Genesis Coupe and which the 2013 Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are now trumping. For younger enthusiasts who aren't dazzled by larger Camaros and Mustangs, those Asian coupes are the only cars that deliver big performance in a tight, budget-friendly package.
While the Wheels report names no direct sources, the magazine quotes Michael Simcoe, GM's chief designer outside North America, as saying a production Torana "makes sense" given the history of Australian muscle cars.
Annalisa Bluhm, a Chevrolet spokeswoman, told Exhaust Notes that while the Code 130R was not yet planned for production, "it would fit pretty perfectly" against the BRZ and FR-S. So far, Bluhm said the concept has been a hit among Millennials -- the under-35 set targeted by the Japanese coupes.
"We thought the 130R would really resonate because it's hot. It's a racer," she said.
With the short, stubby styling of a BMW 1-Series, the Code 130R and Torana could be built from GM's new Alpha platform, a smaller rear-wheel-drive chassis now underpinning the Cadillac ATS. In January, GM said it could sell a production 130R in the "low $20,000s" with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivering 150 horsepower and 40 mpg.
Holden, GM's Australian division, has catered to speed-seeking Australians for decades. While much of Holden's lineup -- like the Volt and Barina Spark -- are rebadged Chevrolets, the brand retains a very distinct flavor, different from Detroit. (Case in point: the Maloo R8, an El Camino hotrod stuffed with a Corvette V8 that runs on liquid propane.) The 2009 Pontiac G8, a rear-wheel-drive sedan praised for its sharp handling, was entirely designed by Holden and is still sold (and raced) down under as the Commodore.
Given the initial fervor from the BRZ, we're betting GM will be watching this performance segment very closely as it tries to cast Chevrolet as a youth-friendly, premium small car brand.
[Source: Wheels Magazine via Holden]
For younger enthusiasts who aren't dazzled by larger Camaros and Mustangs, those Asian coupes are the only cars that deliver big performance in a tight, budget-friendly package.
I will be fair to the US sports car offerings. The new muscle cars aren't that bad of a deal. The V6 models start in the low 20's and the V8's start right around 30. All of the foreign sports cars now start somewhere around mid 20's (BRZ, Genesis Coupe I4T) to low 30's (370Z). So the muscle cars are definitely budget friendly too, and they are far sportier than they ever have been. However, I still appreciate the more compact and lightweight design of an Asian sports car even if it might be slower than a Mustang by the stopwatch.
I love Holdens, I wish we could get them here.
You have to wonder why GM doesn't listen to all the people here clamoring for their Aussie products. It does sound like they're considering selling a civilian version of the police/fleet-only Chevy Caprice RWD. They're not quite as sharp as the Pontiac G8 was, but still not a bad looking car. And what's not to like about the 6.0L V8? Guess you can end up buying one used when the cops are done with them. Like a nice low-mileage unmarked detective unit.
I imagine they will be sought after cars decades from now...
The Holden-based Pontiacs will most certainly be collectors items. The handling of the G8 was often compared to the benchmark BMW 5-series and the V8 model was no slouch. As you said, the Monaro-based GTO was maligned for it's un-Pontiac-like bland styling while ignoring what was under the hood. Definitely and under-appreciated car here in the states.
I'm a big fan of the late Pontiac Holdens (G8, GTO). It's a shame the GTO didn't catch on better, it really is a great car. And I actually LIKE the styling. It's too bad all people wanted was a retro ride when it came to the GTO. I think people forget that the original Goat was based on the LeMans, a car that was itself pretty boring looking at the time it was new.
And the G8 got great reviews, it just never really had a chance thanks to the untimely demise of Pontiac.
As far as being future collectibles, well both those cars already have pretty dedicated followings. Check out the going prices of them, they've maintaned great resale despite now being orphans.
And I didn't realize the Solstice/Sky was based on a Holden design. I like those two cars alot as well. especially the GXP/Redline versions. I actually like the styling of the Sky a bit better, but I'd have the Pontiac since I like Pontiacs.
And Annatar, I have to say you surprise me! I wouldn't expect you to have that much affection for this type of car. There's hope for you yet! (haha!)
they already sold Holden V8s here, they were called Pontiac GTOs and G8s. Terrific cars that got slammed because they were too modern looking for a retro crazed buying public that went googoo for, in my opinion, inferior mustangs... I imagine they will be sought after cars decades from now...
they already sold Holden V8s here, they were called Pontiac GTOs and G8s.I know they did, that was my joyride! It should have stayed a Holden Monaro though, and not be rebranded as a Pontiac.
It is a good car. Ever since then, I have been a Holden sympathizer. Until the GTO, that is, the Holden Monaro, I was blissfully unaware of the precious gems and long V8 traditions Australia had. When I worked on that Monaro, I was in awe of how simple and elegant that car is! Absolutely amazing. Australians know how to build cars, and they know what quality is, but most importantly, they know what they want in a vehicle. One would never think, that of all the places Australia has such an advanced, developed car industry.
Having driven the new Caprice police pursuit vehicle just made me even more convinced. The only regrets I have about the new Caprice are the ugly, plain Impala taillights, and the automatic transmission. But technically, the car is impressively simple and elegant. The cars coming from Holden are simply unbelievable.
Uuuuhhh, aaahhh, Holden! That is a brand with a special place in my heart! Of all the GM divisions, Holden has the hottest cars and the best technology!
Why oh why will GM not bring the Holden brand to the United States?
X 100!!! I love Holdens, I wish we could get them here.
I like the look of this coupe too, but while it's right (rear) wheel drive, it's about 100hp short of being interesting to me. Why not slap in the turbo 2.0 from the Buicks? 270hp sounds about right for a car that size. I don't know how anyone could get excited over 1.4L and 150hp, unless the car only weighs 1000lbs.
They already did! They were called the Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn SKY Redline, and OPEL GT!
And they looked alot better than this mockup!! They had the same powertrain that has alot more potential than the power numbers they are putting out. I have a 08 SKY Redline that makes 300 wheel horsepower with just bolt ons and a computer tune. Just swapping out the small turbo for a larger one will get me 450 wheel horsepower!!
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